Immigration Newsletter

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Tips on Paying Your Immigrant Fee | USCIS

Tips on Paying Your Immigrant Fee | USCIS

Tips on Paying Your Immigrant Fee

Paying the Fee

If you are immigrating to the United States and will be admitted as a lawful permanent resident, you must pay a $165 USCIS Immigrant Fee. You must pay this fee online using the USCIS Electronic Immigration System (USCIS ELIS).
We strongly encourage you to pay this fee after you receive your immigrant visa packet from the U.S. embassy or consulate abroad (including Canada and Mexico) and before you depart for the United States. Paying before you depart for the United States will ensure that you receive your Permanent Resident Card (commonly referred to as a Green Card) without delay. However, you can also pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee after you immigrate to the United States. We will send your Green Card to you after you pay the fee.
To pay the $165 fee in USCIS ELIS, you will need an online account. Once you have created your account, you can pay the fee by logging in to USCIS ELIS and selectingUSCIS Immigrant Fee from the drop-down menu. You will need your Alien Number (A-Number) and Department of State (DOS) Case ID to pay the fee.
You may pay for yourself and any family members who will live with you in the United States. Attorneys, accredited representatives and employers are not authorized to create a USCIS ELIS account on your behalf to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee. Only you, as the immigrant, may open a USCIS ELIS account and pay the required fee to obtain your Green Card.
You will receive an ADIT (Alien Documentation, Identification and Telecommunications) stamp (also known as a visa stamp) upon entering the United States. This stamp will serve as proof of your lawful permanent resident status for up to 1 year or until you receive your Green Card.
To pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee through USCIS ELIS, you must provide the following:
  • Your A-Number and DOS Case ID (please visit Tips on Finding Your A-Number and DOS Case ID for more information);
  • The A-Numbers, DOS Case IDs and correct biographical information for each family member for whom you are paying the USCIS Immigrant Fee; and
  • Valid payment information. You must pay either with a valid credit or debit card or provide your bank routing and checking account numbers to have money taken directly from your U.S. bank account.
Please keep a copy of your receipt for your records. (To have an electronic confirmation sent to you, please provide your email address in the spaces provided when making your payment.)

Finding Your A-Number and DOS Case ID

Visit Tips on Finding Your A-Number and DOS Case ID  for instructions on where to find this information.

Unpaid Fees

USCIS will not issue you a Green Card until we receive your Immigrant Fee payment. If you fail to pay your fee within 45 days, USCIS will send you a notice requesting payment. If you do not pay the fee within the time specified in the notice, you will not receive your Green Card..
I think this has to be one of the dumbest inventions yet by USCIS. Making the immigrant go online and pay a fee by credit card. Explicitly stating that the attorney or accredited representative cannot do it for them. Many immigrants are very technically savvy and many have means and credit. But what about older parents of US citizens who may not understand computers, what about people who don't have computers or credit cards? What about the fact that the USCIS ELIS website is written in English?

This is too diabolically bad to even be a mistake -- shame on you USCIS for setting this up this way.

 Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Lawyers Metro Manchester NH (603) 644-3739 or